Day Four: A female character you relate to
My boyfriend has a list of characters that remind him of me (mostly long-haired dark heroines, tsunderes, lawful-good magic users and petulant little nerd girls). I won’t be using any of them.
As I grew up I often related to Mafalda (by the cartoonist Quino). As a preteen and early teen I had been the class delegate by popular election many times, I negotiated with the teachers and cared for with the integration of the kids that came to school in the middle of the academic year. Plus: organized an ecology club. Between so many fantastic heroines, Mafalda seemed to be talk about the same topics as me, not out of touch but reachable and relatable. Her life was funny and educative for a young girl concerned with SJ matters. After all, Mafalda is a bright little girl from a normal family, struggling to understand the nuances of big concepts like morality, politics, history and human psychology. Mafalfa is a rebel, insanely curious and stubborn in her conviction to change the world. And even if she dislikes soup, a topic in which we’ll have to agree to disagree, I can only hope for more young girls to be like her.
Now that I am older, the closest I’ve felt to a fictional character was when I was reading “Nana” and the character of Nana Osaki started to really develop. I don’t have her talent or style, but I share her passion and many of her flaws. Furthermore, I think that Nana Osaki is a great “f*ck you” to those who think that you can take a girl with trust issues, “mend her” and get awesome girlfriend material, no difficulties whatsoever.
Nana and I both have the need to keep a close circle of friends and acquaintances in which we sometimes put too much hopes, becoming easily disappointed. We struggle in our romantic relationships, torn between being clingy with the first person we have truly opened ourselves to and reaffirming our independence constantly. What sometimes is seen as “yet another mood swing” is in reality the result of an intricate and often fatalist train of though. Nana is often unable to really voice her troubles, expecting some kind of silent understanding that only Works with really observant people. And oh, DO.I.FEEL.THAT.
Also, it is really interesting to note that I have rarely felt as ashamed and humbled by fiction as when I read *Spoiler alert* Ren and Nana arguing in chapter 58 (vol. 16) and I was taking “Nana’s side”. Ren’s reproaches seemed cruel yet straight to the point, to that part of a discussion in which you have to realize that even if someone accommodates to your wishes, that won’t guarantee your happiness. And it is an uncomfortable though. And I am glad someone talks about it.